Fay Barnaby Kent served for six years as National Vice President (1909-1915)
when the position included both the area of extension and alumnae support and was described as one of Alpha Chi Omega’s most forceful and rich personalities.
Under her leadership, seven collegiate chapters were established, eight alumnae chapters were chartered and twelve alumnae clubs were formed.
An initiate of Delta (Allegheny), Fay was a piano pupil of composer Edward MacDowell in New York. She also took courses at Columbia, New York University and Julliard.
Her great interest in the MacDowell Colony precipitated the building and maintenance of the Star Studio by Alpha Chi Omega.
According to a profile in The Lyre in June 1961: By letters, by talks, and through attendance at nine Alpha Chi national conventions,
she has continually championed the MacDowell Colony of Peterborough, New Hampshire.
As chairman of the MacDowell Committee, it was the force of Fay Kent’s appeal at the 1960 Jubilee Convention that later inspired the National Council to name February MacDowell Month, beginning with 1961,
- Leading Bishop jailed for thef
- The Full American Experience
- Healing the wounds of genocide
the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth.
When delegates visited the colony during the 1966 convention, she was honored.
And the following October she was further honored by being invited to unveil a bronze bust of MacDowell in New York City.
She founded and directed her own fine arts institute in Plainfield, New Jersey for thirty years, offering advanced instruction in music, drama and dance.
An active member of Gamma Gamma alumnae chapter in New York City, she was a professional organist and choir director.
And she played a key role in creating the ritual, described in the January 1911 issue of The Lyre as having “rare beauty and significance that is now ours because of the countless hours of investigation and of literary composition which Mrs.
Kent has given, and is still giving, with Mrs. Fall and Mrs. Green, to the work of revision.”
She was known to take great pride in her home, “Kent Knoll’ in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, with hundreds of varieties of flowers and plants.
“My ‘balancing interest,’ she said, “is agriculture, especially the growing of unusual trees and plants. My first tree, brought four inches high from the primeval forest at the Colony, is now close to 70 feet tall—a beautiful hemlock.”
Fay Barnaby Kent died in 1976, at which time archivist Hannah Keenan remarked,
“Alpha Chi Omega has lost one of its most valued members in the death of Fay Barnaby Kent.”
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